Lakers Repeat as
WMD League Champs
Manistee News Advocate
BEAR LAKE — Bear Lake seems to
be the home of West Michigan D League cross country titles.
Again, the Laker boys and girls teams left Wednesday’s championship
race in Bear Lake atop their respective fields and were crowned
league title holders.
Going into the race, both Bear Lake squads were guaranteed at least
a share of the championship by winning two league jamborees earlier
in the season.
But, at Wednesday’s finish line, the Lakers earned the honor
outright. And while he's pleased with the league win, coach Eric
Ross said the ultimate season goal is still in front of his
championship is a conference championship," said Ross who has
coached both the boys and girls to the feat the last four years.
“Even though our sights are always set on the end of the season,
this is definitely something that’s good for the kids. They all knew
they worked hard for what they accomplished today. It kind of
validates what’s going on and what they’re doing.”
The Bear Lake girls team ran away with the title, scoring 23 points
to runner-up Mason County Eastern’s 43, while Pentwater (79) placed
third and Walkerville (88) fourth.
The Lakers were paced by six top-10 finishes including the top two
spots taken by Jaylee Brown in the time of 20:36 and Tobi Schoedel
Also finishing for the Laker
girls were Yumi Babinec (4th, 22:27), Kelly Babcock (7th, 23:27),
Tristen Gleason (9th, 24:12), Taylor Anderson (10th, 24:39),
Danielle Ward (11th, 24:55) and Samantha Mullett (13th, 26:03).
“Their numbers speak for
themselves,” Ross said of the Laker girls. “They’re pretty good times.
They finished well, raced well. And they’ve all been working really
hard, so it’s good to see.”
The Bear Lake boys snuck away with
the title through a bit of a tighter race.
The Lakers’ 41 points just edged MCE (45) while Big Rapids Crossroads
Charter Academy (55) finished third, Walkerville (133) placed fourth and
Pentwater (147) took fifth.
The Lakers’ John Girven led his team with a fourth-place finish overall
in the time of 18:37 while teammates Ryan Pienta (18:52) and Tyler
Groenwald (18:59) finished sixth and eighth, respectively.
Rounding out the boys race for Bear Lake were Alex Ringel (11th,
19:17), Lewis Bartlett (13th, 19:18), Shane Peterson (15th, 19:46), Kyle
Nettler (16th, 19:50), John Schoedel (19th, 20:16), Stephen Verrett
(21st, 20:28), Weston Brooks (23rd, 20:57), Reilly Merrill (24th,
20:58), Parker Sternberger (26th, 21:43), Bradon Bowling (27th, 21:43),
Justin Brown (28th, 22:40) and Bryson Waller (31st, 24:21).
“It was definitely closer than
usual,” Ross said of the boys’ contest. “Not everyone ran the times I
thought they would, but again, our workout this week was our first time
with speed, and when you switch directions from strength to speed,
sometimes it affects everyone differently.
“It was still good to see them run the way they ran today, and still be
able to pull out a win.”